Division III sports and athletes are getting more publicity on the Internet thanks to a group of Web sites from D3sports.com.
Along with D3sports.com, there is D3football.com and D3baseball.com, all of which are designed to promote Division III teams and athletes.
The original site, D3hoops.com, was started during the 1995-1996 season and covered only men’s basketball.
The current publisher, Pat Coleman, took over in 1997 and added women’s basketball as well as feature stories, an honor roll and eventually a top 25 poll. Now there are even broadcasts, a weekly radio show, photo galleries and a weekly national column.
Currently, Coleman runs the other Web sites to promote Division III sports, including D3football.com and D3baseball.com.
Originally, the baseball site was not affiliated with the company, but ran independently as Division III Baseball Online. Since joining the organization, it has received more publicity and notoriety.
Today, D3sports.com has become an umbrella site, working to cover many functions, including message boards, but the publisher is working to make it similar to the three sites already working. The site will cover women’s basketball, men’s basketball, baseball and football, but it will also serve as a way to broadcast any other big news in the world of Division III sports.
There are currently two sites with similar domain names (D3kicks.com and D3swimming.com), which are not affiliated with the sites run by Coleman.
According to Coleman, the goal of these sites is to provide information about Division III sports, as well as build a community for the Division III athletics.
News about different Division III schools has been the central focus from day one, but the site has also allowed members of different teams to come together and discuss the sports.
Bruce Wilson, head coach of men’s basketball at Simpson, said although he believes it is a good site for coaches, fans and recruits, the ability to be anonymous on the Internet can cause people to be harsh in their judgment of others.
“I think that D3hoops.com is a great source of information on NCAA III basketball,” Wilson said. “I am not a fan of chat lines on Web sites because I think that it is very easy to be critical of others if you can remain anonymous and that can be very destructive to individuals and to team chemistry.”
Junior basketball player Matt Gilbert said the site is a good opportunity to get Division III schools out there, but there is limited coverage of Iowa schools.
“I am very pleased that there is a Web site dedicated to Division III sports,” Gilbert said. “I feel a more detailed synopsis about the regional teams would boost its activity, especially from smaller Division III schools, like Simpson. Also if they provided live coverage of top games, I feel players and coaches would be willing to participate at higher numbers.”
Junior basketball player Katelyn Whiton uses the site in season to check and see how other teams are doing or to check on team statistics. Whiton said, as an athlete, she is grateful for the site because Division III sports don’t receive a lot of publicity.
“I think that it is nice when Web sites take interest in Division III sports,” Whiton said. “All Division III athletes dedicate so much time and effort into their sport(s) on top of their school work. It is just nice for someone to show other people their successes and their hard work that they put in.”